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  6.  — Place-based curriculum

Place-based curriculum

Utilising local narratives, histories, and perspectives in the curriculum.

… it should mean greater excellence, because you’d be bringing Indigenous, Māori and local knowledges into engagement with other knowledge systems. The products of those engagements, in my view, can only be better. 1

The following resources give a range of perspectives on expressions of place-based curriculum in Aotearoa and Tāmaki Makaurau. The Refreshed Graduate Profile references the name gifted to the University of Auckland, Waipapa Taumata Rau, which connects our curriculum to the histories, perspectives, and narratives of Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei. By becoming conversant in mātauranga expressed through place-based curriculum, our graduates will connect to knowledge of place both here, throughout Te Moananui-a-Kiwa, and beyond.

Professor Wally Penetito on place-based education

Wally Penetito, Ngāti Hauā, describes place-based education as having three strands:

  • A place-based curriculum that lets students examine knowledge and events from where their feet stand.
  • A place-based pedagogy that takes into account the tikanga. of where you are teaching.
  • The idea of challenging your own “taken-for-granted” world.

Te Kawehau Hoskins’ explanation of pepeha

Whanaungatanga or relationships are the basis of te ao Māori. When introducing ourselves, it’s not enough to just exchange names. We introduce ourselves in the context of our iwi, hapū, whānau and tūrangawaewae. In this way we can identify connections between ourselves and others.

Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei introduction

Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei video poster frame

Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei are located in and around Tāmaki Makaurau – Auckland, the largest city in Aotearoa. They hold firm to their identity as ahi kā and continue to maintain the legacy and vision of their tūpuna.

Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei he pepeha

Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei he pepeha video poster frame
Pepeha show the origins of Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei, beyond Nukuroa (Aotearoa) in Wairotī and Wairotā. The waka hourua Māhuhu-ki-te-Rangi, under the primary command of Rongomai, travelled from the islands and made landfall in Aotearoa.

Small steps – He rautaki iti

Learn and teach local narratives.

– This is an opportunity suited to all academic and professional staff keen to learn more about the role of central Auckland in the history of colonisation.


Penetito, W. (2008). Place-based education : catering for curriculum, culture and community. New Zealand Annual Review of Education18(18), 5–29.

Page added 20/12/2023

  1. Husband, Dale. “Te Kawehau Hoskins: A More Māori Life at University.” E-Tangata. May 21, 2023.
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